FSWS helped 48 human trafficking victims last year

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Foundation for Social Welfare Services worked with 48 individuals who were victims of human trafficking last year, Family Minister Michael Falzon revealed in Parliament.

In a number of parliamentary questions, PN MP Claudette Buttigieg asked for statistics dating back to 2014, but the figures supplied by Falzon show that statistics are only available from 2018 onwards. That year, as in 2019, the foundation worked with 48 individuals, of whom 23 were known and 25 were new cases.

Last year, the FSWS worked on 9 new cases, whilst continuing to work with 39 other individuals.

In both years, the FSWS provided assistance to 19 men and 29 women who were victims of human trafficking. No minors were among the number: last year, 8 were aged 20-24, 12 were aged 25-29, 11 were aged 30-34, 6 were aged 35-39, 7 were aged 40-44, 3 were aged 45-49 and another was over 55.

Most victims hail from Philippines, Ukraine

An overwhelming majority of the trafficking victims hailed from two countries: the Philippines and Ukraine.

Last year, the FSWS provided assistance to 23 Filipinos (15 women and 8 men) and 15 Ukrainians (8 women and 7 men). The remaining cases involved 4 Mauritanian women, as well as 4 more men (from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Romania) and two more women (from the Gambia and Moldova).

Falzon explained that the foundation now offers a specialised service to help victims of human trafficking, involving a team of professionals as well as a number of safe houses leased for the private sector, where victims of human trafficking can stay until the team helps them find a proper job.

Last year, he added, the FSWS organised its first inter-ministerial conference on the subject, as well as the provision of specialised training to its team of professionals. This training included a week of familiarisation in the UK, facilitated by the British High Commission in Malta.